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its civil history may next be touched on. Readers of Cæsar's Commentaries on the Wars in Gaul, will remember the frequent allusions to the Rhine, which formed a convenient boundary to the Roman conquests. Being, for a large part of its course, fully 1200 feet broad, it formed an easily defensible frontier to Gaul; and so evident is this valuable attribute in its character, that in all ages the inhabitants of France have desired to make the Rhine their eastern boundary, from Switzerland to the sea. Under the Roman generals, certain important points on the left bank of the river were fortified, in order to guard the stream, and prevent the invasions of the Germanic tribes on the right bank. Notwithstanding these efforts, various tribes occasionally came across in their boats, and committed slaughter on the Roman settlers. Cæsar, to terrify the heroic intruders, at length found it necessary to cross the Rhine with a powerful army. The account of his proceedings on this occasion will be found in the 17th, 18th, and 19th chapters of the 4th book of his Wars in Gaul. From these I shall make a few extracts, using, with some abridgment, a free translation of that celebrated work.
'Cæsar, for the reasons that have been mentioned, resolved to cross the Rhine; but to cross by ships he neither deemed to be sufficiently safe, nor considered consistent with his own dignity or that of the Roman people. Therefore, although the greatest difficulty in forming a bridge was presented to him, on account of the breadth, rapidity, and depth of the river, he nevertheless considered that it ought to be attempted by him, or that his army ought not otherwise to be led over. He devised this plan of a bridge: He joined together, at the distance of two feet, two piles, each a foot and a half thick, sharpened a little at the lower end, and proportioned in length to the depth of the river. After he had, by means of engines, sunk these into the river, and fixed them at the bottom, and then driven them in with rammers, not quite perpendicularly, like a stake, but bending forward and sloping, so as to incline in the direction of the current of the river, he also placed two other piles opposite to these, at the distance of forty feet lower down, fastened together in the same manner, but directed against the force and current of the river. Both these, moreover, were kept firmly apart by beams two feet thick (the space which the binding of the piles occupied), laid in at their extremities between two braces on each side; and in consequence of these being in different directions, and fastened on sides the one opposite to the other, so great was the strength of the work, and such the arrangement of the materials, that in proportion as the greater body of water dashed against the bridge, so much the closer were its parts held fastened together. These beams were bound together by timber laid over them in the direction of the length of the bridge, and were then covered over with laths and hurdles; and in addition to this, piles were driven into the water obliquely, at the lower side of the bridge, and these
serving as buttresses, and being connected with every portion of the work, sustained the force of the stream; and there were others also above the bridge, at a moderate distance, that in the event of trunks of trees or vessels being floated down the river by the barbarians for the purpose of destroying the work, the violence of such things might be diminished by these defences, and the bridge preserved from injury. Within ten days after the timber began to be collected, the whole work was completed, and the entire army led over. Cæsar, leaving a strong guard at each end of the bridge, hastened into the territories of the Sigambri. In the meantime, ambassadors from several nations came to him, whom, on their suing for peace and alliance, he answered in a courteous manner, and ordered hostages to be brought to him. But the Sigambri, at the very time the bridge was begun to be built, made preparations for a flight, quitted their territories, conveyed away all their possessions, and concealed themselves in deserts and woods. Cæsar, having remained in their country a few days, and burnt all their villages and houses, and cut down their corn, considered he had done enough for the honour and interest of the Roman arms, returned into Gaul, and cut down the bridge.' This event occurred in the year 55 B.C. Cæsar is known to have again crossed the Rhine two years later; after which he seems to have confined himself to the left bank.
The Romans remained on the Rhine until the dissolution of their power in Gaul; and though we may blame the cruelty of their conquests, it must be admitted that here, as elsewhere, they were (as the English at present are in India) the means of securing tranquillity, and of introducing many civilised usages. Among other things, they are known to have introduced the growth of the vine from Cyprus; so that the wines of Germany owe their origin to the Roman invasion. In the present day, the whole course of the Rhine and the Moselle is full of Roman antiquitiesbaths, palaces, monuments, altars, and other objects of archæological interest-relics of the great people who carried the learning and refinements of the east into Western Europe.
The era of Roman splendour was succeeded by ages of barbarian turbulence. The craggy peaks on both banks of the Rhine became the seat of castles inhabited by feudal chiefs; and these, with bands of retainers, levied constant wars on each other, and laid the passing stranger under contribution. These chiefs were, in fact, robbers who scrupled at no atrocity. Some of them pretended to have a right of exacting tolls for the passage of vessels up or down the river, and the remains of fortified toll-houses, built close to or within the river, still attest the power that was enjoyed by this feudal aristocracy. At length, a time came when such powers could no longer be tolerated. A confederacy of traders and merchants, known in history as the league of the free communities of the Hanse Towns, about the year 1200, proclaimed war against the robbers of the Rhine. The various feudal strongholds were now
attacked and destroyed, and the system of tolls and rapine extinguished. In these mediæval times, there arose on the Rhine and its tributaries certain great ecclesiastical cities, which alone enjoyed security, under their prince-bishops, against the feudal chiefs and their successors. Mayence, Cologne, and Treves, with the adjoining city of Aix-la-Chapelle, were the principal of these communities. These also, in the course of ages, have lost their ancient privileges; the wars of the French revolution having changed their fortune, and consigned them to one or other of the modern European sovereignties. Among these, Prussia has acquired the largest share of the Rhine countries; but it must be admitted that it has not abused its power. Under the Prussian authorities, law, order, and education have been properly cared for; and many improvements, both in town and country, have been effected. We may instance the banking of the Rhine with stone bulwarks, where such works are required, and the construction of a costly macadamised road along the left bank of the river.
We may now direct our attention to the course of the Rhine and its scenery, throwing in here and there notices of historical events, so as to impart as vivid an idea as possible of what is presented to the observation of the tourist. The plan of description would naturally seem to go down the river; but there are reasons for doing otherwise. The tour of the Rhine properly begins at Cologne. Below that city, the scenery on the banks of the river, though frequently rich and beautiful, is not picturesque. The truly interesting portion of the Rhine scenery commences at the Drachenfels, about 20 miles above Cologne, and extends to Mayence; forming an interval of about 90 miles by land, but upwards of 100 when following the windings of the river. About half way up this lengthened tract, stands Coblenz, which is the limit of one day's journey by steam-boat; and from Coblenz to Mayence is the extent of a second. Our descriptions will, therefore, refer principally to this middle portion of the Rhine, following it upwards in a steamer. Having led the traveller as far up as he is likely to go, we shall finish with a short account of the Lower Rhine.
TOUR OF THE RHINE.
Cologne, as the great starting-point of Rhine tourists, can now be reached with ease, and at a small expense, by means of the system of railways communicating from Calais or Ostend; the time occupied from the last-mentioned place being about twelve hours. Few persons, however, rush on directly to the Rhine. The more common plan is to take certain places in the way-such as Antwerp, for the purpose of seeing the cathedral, and grand pictures of Rubens; then Malines, Brussels, and Aix-la-Chapelle. Arrived at Cologne, the traveller gets his first glance of the Rhine, and is
struck with its great breadth, which is about one-third of a mile. Looking from one of the windows of his hotel, and facing the east, he sees the river below him, rolling majestically on its way, numerous steam-boats and other vessels plying at the quay, a long bridge of boats communicating with the right or east bank, on which stands the suburb of Deutz, where begins that long line of railways communicating with all the countries of Germany, from the Baltic to the Adriatic „090f 921 # 99ft out to esiler Reso. to On entering Cologne, we find that it is a strongly-fortified town, with gateways and drawbridges guarded by Prussian soldiers. Within the walls, the streets, lined with tall, dark buildings of stone, are narrow and confused. Some years ago, they were kept in a far from cleanly condition, the gutters and sewers sending forth a variety of indescribable smells. So bad was the reputation of the town in this respect, that it became the object of numerous satirical remarks. One of the most pungent of these squibs was the well-known lines of Coleridgewoit ni felliq quivil aldr HOW 9 Ye nymphs, who reign o'er sewers and sinks bus Isarsas quinnessar bus The river Rhine, it is well known, 31911 of adp. Gnost ut egote Doth wash your city of Cologne: bizni stompa 1991 sobie odtwobshall henceforth wash the river Rhine?' But tell me, nymphs, what power divine 929dt svode to vjizas odt givi9:00 E 141 919 bil Latterly, the town has been subjected to some reformatory measures. It is now daily swept and cleaned narrow foot-pavements have been laid down, which is a great step in advance; and the streets, shops, and hotels are lighted with gus. The houses have generally an antique appearance, with pointed gables to the street, and we see, nestling in nooks and alleys, numerous churches of medieval architecture. One of the most lamentable of its physical features, is its seclusion) from the Rhine by a wall; so that, instead of unbosoming to this noble river, it screens itself behind a parapet, and the only outlet for its traffic is by two or three gateways! This is the source of much inconvenience to strangers. Instead of being able to step across the quay to their hotels, they require to go round by the gateways, amidst a crush of drays, and enter by narrow, dingy thoroughfares. Such, however, is part of the continental system of military defence, which is held to be paramount to all personal convenience. Cologne owes its origin to the Romans, by whom it was called Colonia Agrippina, in honour of the wife of the Emperor Claudius. Its present name is only a modernisation of Colonin, and hence has the same root as our English word colony.Afterwards a free city of the German Empire, under its archbishops, it rose to great ecclesiastical renown. The most remarkable edifice in this ancient city, is the Dom, or Cathedral. This structure, one of the finest specimens of the pointed architecture, and begun in the thirteenth century, has for ages remained in an unfinished state; but since 1842 great exertions have been made to carry it forward to completion. Lately, additional portions have been covered
in, and fitted up with coloured-glass windows, some of which, embodying a fine series of Scripture subjects, are a gift from the king of Bavaria.
In former times, Cologne was an object of pilgrimage from all parts of Europe; and at the present day, its Shrine of the Three Kings, as they are called, is still visited by the pious of the Romish Church. This shrine, alleged to contain the actual corporeal relics of the three wise men, or kings, who came out of the east to worship the infant Jesus, is situated in the choir of the cathedral. In the course of a tour on the Rhine a few years ago, we had the opportunity of seeing this famed shrine on one of the festivals of the church, when it was open to exhibition. Making our way through the crowd that filled the broad passage outside the screen of the choir, we reached the terminating aisle of the church under the great east window. Here a most extraordinary scene was presented to our eyes. A kind of temple of marble, having pillars in front, and decorated with a profusion of enamel and gilding, stood in the aisle below the window, reaching to the height of eight or ten feet, and measuring five feet square inside. There were two or three steps in front, and above these there was an opening like a window, the sides of which were lighted with lamps. Observing the anxiety of the people to get a look through the window, we inquired what was to be seen, and were informed that the relics of the three kings were exposed for observation. These relics, according to the account given, had been originally procured in the east by the Empress Helena, and by her carried to Constantinople, whence they were afterwards removed to Milan, where they were found by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, when he captured and destroyed that city (1162), and were presented by him to the archbishop of Cologne. The bones of the skeletons are said to be preserved in a coffin of silver, which is placed beneath the shrine, and is not open to public gaze. The only portions displayed are the skulls. Proceeding up the steps of the shrine, and looking through the opening, we with difficulty perceived, in the midst of the partial gloom, three skulls stuck in a row, and of jetty darkness. Around the brow of each ghastly object, beneath a crown of gilt metal, was bound a fillet, on which, in sparkling gems of different colours, was inscribed the name of the particular saint. The three names só blazoned were GASPAR, MELCHIOR, and Balthazar. On the front of the shrine is an inscription in Latin, importing that here he the bodies of the Holy Magi; and that nothing of them has been removed or placed elsewhere.
As soon as the service in the church was over, the shrine was shut to the public. It is alleged that the shrine and its ornaments are worth 6,000,000 francs, or L.240,000, which is doubtless an exaggeration. When the French approached the town in 1794, the relics of the three kings, and all the valuable furniture of the cathedral, including the entire fabric of the shrine,